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Tullow Oil Wins U.K. Appeal Ruling Over Heritage Tax Payments

Tullow Oil Plc won the bulk of a U.K. Court of Appeal ruling in a dispute with Heritage Oil today over tax payments made to Ugandan authorities.

The three-judge panel upheld a lower court’s decision that Tullow should be repaid $313 million by Heritage in the case.

The dispute stems from Tullow’s purchase in 2010 of Heritage’s 50 percent stake in a license to look for petroleum in parts of west Uganda for more than $1.35 billion. Heritage refused to pay the subsequent tax bill, saying it wasn’t liable for the full $405 million.

The Ugandan government said any tax burden must be shouldered by Tullow, according to the ruling and the company paid the $313 million to continue working on the site.

Tullow said it was pleased with the decision in a statement, while Heritage declined to comment through an external spokesman. The court also ruled that Tullow must repay $2.5 million plus interest to Heritage.

The case is Tullow Uganda Ltd. v Heritage Oil and Gas Ltd., case no. 11-471, High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division, Commercial Court.

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